After a wild road to get to this point, former WWE champion Dave Bautista—or Batista as he was called in the wrestling industry—will finally make his mixed martial arts debut on Saturday night against veteran Vince Lucero at CES MMA 14: Real Pain.
The fight was originally scheduled to see Batista face Rashid Evans, but Evans was arrested for a parole violation less than a week before the matchup.
With such short notice, the best the promoter could find for the main event was the 22-22 Lucero.
If the fight wasn’t going to be easy for the 43-year-old rookie before, the addition of journeyman Lucero certainly should make for an exciting finish now.
Where: Dunkin' Donuts Center, Providence, RI
When: Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 9 p.m. ET
Watch: DIRECTV PPV
Live Stream: Bautista MMA
Full Fight Card
Dave Bautista (0-0) vs. Vince Lucero (22-22)
David Loiseau (20-10) vs. Chris McNally (5-4)
Luis Felix (7-6) vs. Marc Stevens (14-7)
Brett Chism (16-11) vs. John Howard (17-7)
Keith Jeffrey (8-2) vs. Chad Reiner (29-13)
Saul Almeida (12-2) vs. Calvin Kattar (12-2)
Gemiyale Adkins (7-3) vs. Mike Campbell (11-4)
Todd Chattelle (10-7) vs. Chandler Holderness (9-3)
Chris Guillen (13-12) vs. Greg Rebello (13-4)
Josh Diekmann (12-4) vs. Tyler King (4-1)
Shedrick Goodridge (2-2) vs. Brennan Ward (2-0)
Nate Andrews (1-0) vs. Leon Davis (2-0)
Rob Costa (2-1) vs. Andre Soukhamthath (2-1)
Batista’s Keys to the Fight
For those that remember Batista from his WWE days, he is a physically dominating presence with freak power and surprising quickness. With a slimmed-down look and better elusiveness and agility, Batista is ready to fight.
Whether it was Rashid Evans or Vince Lucero, the former WWE champion is coming in looking for the knockout to prove his worth in his new sport.
There are still far more questions than answers about Batista’s style and technique, but the sheer size and strength advantage over his opponent on Saturday night will give the former bodybuilder the victory.
Lucero’s Keys to the Fight
For those who don’t know, 40-year-old MMA veteran Vince Lucero enters his fight with Dave Bautista with a record of 22-22 over his career.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that his record is not very good.
With 14 losses in his last 19 fights, it is clear that Lucero is on his last legs in the industry, but a huge win over Batista on Saturday could catapult the veteran back onto bigger MMA federations’ radars.
Despite the chance at glory, there is no way Lucero beats Batista in his debut.
Prediction: Batista wins via first-round TKO
After a feeling-out process to start the fight, Batista will unleash his attack and dominate Lucero for the entire first round. If the MMA veteran doesn’t submit to the punches, the referee will step in and stop this fight.
With over four inches of height advantage and a clearly stronger body, no amount of experience in MMA will be able to stop the beating Batista is bringing to Lucero on Saturday.
After years of trying to break into the sport, Batista isn’t going to let this fight end any other way besides a KO or TKO. Expect a first-round ending due to the blows of the former WWE star.
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